Q&A with Dan, Rohit, Seth and Valentina
What can students expect from your programme?
On Global Media Management (GMM) we explore the rapidly changing media landscape. There is a lively and exciting mixture of lectures from international researchers and industry experts, small group seminars to share and debate ideas, and practical workshops to explore digital media technologies. On our core modules we explore the role of social, networked or mobile media for the management of journalism, entertainment, marketing and community projects and campaigns. The option module is way to develop further specialization and collaborate with postgraduate students from across Winchester School of Art. With our professional practice modules there are opportunities to develop research skills and receive support in addressing career plans.
Do your own research interests feed into the course?
Very much so! Everyone in the teaching team is an internationally recognized researcher in the field of digital media and media industries. In the last twelve months, the teaching team have presented at international events and conferences in Australia, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, and the United States. They have published their research in books and journals, and received funding to develop new projects in areas including media industries, games and entertainment apps, media activism and politics, and digital culture. The programme is built around this cutting edge expertise.
From the first week when students create a short exhibition on their ‘global media moments’ through to Final Project, the emphasis is on students developing their own research interests. Each year the programme hosts a research symposium that brings together lecturers and students from GMM with researchers from other universities and industry to explore a theme. In 2014, the Ludic Economies event explored how play and games are at the heart of global media economies. In 2015 our theme was Creative Organisations, looking at the importance of creativity to the successes of organizations across the economy. The GMM symposium is an opportunity for students to share their ideas and experience an international research environment.
What are the key issues currently facing Global Media Management as you see it
Established media companies and media forms from television and newspapers to marketing and PR have been fundamentally challenged by the global reach of the Internet and its new interactive flows of communication. Suddenly ordinary people can make and share images, videos, ideas and reportage. At the same time mobile media devices such as smartphones and tablets have transformed everyday life with their ready access to a world of information and new forms of social connection. Traditional democratic institutions (from political parties to government departments; from interest groups to social movements) are being transformed through globalisation and digital technologies. The challenge for the media managers of the future is to understand these technological, social, and economic changes and to harness the potential of this new participatory culture. MA Global Media Management offers them the best tools and experience to meet these challenges!
How does your programme allow students to engage with these?
MA Global Media Management gives students the theoretical ideas and resources to analyze global media changes. Through directed and independent research we apply these theoretical insights to contemporary media platforms, activities and images. The programme provides training in research methods from media analysis to ethnographic audience research. As well as studying social media, we explore and use all their multimedia and communication possibilities, from photography and video to WordPress and writing for online communications.
What have your students been working on recently?
Topics we have covered recently include location-aware media, games and gamification in contemporary media, user-generated content, and crowdfunding. For each topic we have a lecture and screening to explore current debates and themes, and an invited guest speaker to share their industry insights. Our practice-based workshops in the Mac Suites are a way to explore digital media platforms and technologies in depth, and seminars are a way to connect to academic literature and develop new ideas and directions. We travel further afield, with students attending Digital Marketing week in London and visiting museums and galleries in Bristol for our study trip.
How do industry connections outside of the university feed into the course?
Industry connections are a hugely important part of the programme. During 2015-16 we welcomed: the Head of Market Insights for Google India; a filmmaker from United States of America; the Head of Content from a London investment bank; an international author and researcher on crowdfunding; and researchers working on digital media projects with external partners.
The University of Southampton is home to three world-renowned arts and cultural orgagnisations – the John Hansard Art Gallery, the Nuffield Theatre, and the Turner Sims Concert Hall. GMM has excellent links with all three and in March students enjoyed a ‘behind-the-scenes’ visit that included talks and workshops on management, marketing, and audience engagement. In the evening we had held a drinks reception at the gallery and visited the exhibition before heading to the theatre for a performance.
How does the programme prepare students for life after graduation?
As well as supporting our students to develop a rich and critical understanding the global media environment, we also nurture the transferable skills of individual research for academic, business and audience research, team and group work, audiovisual production and writing for social media, and confidence in the discussion and presentation of ideas and research.
The careers guidance expertise within the University of Southampton is embedded into the programme and there are dedicated talks and workshops for GMM students. These are complemented with our ‘industry insights’ series in which invited guest speakers share their experiences on projects and campaigns they have been involved. These sessions are a great way to ask detailed questions about opportunities for life after graduation, to make contacts, and to swop business cards!
What have your graduates gone on to achieve?
There have been notable successes for GMM students in securing internships whilst on the course and permanent positions upon graduation. Through the Excel Southampton scheme, one student gained an internship in Social Media & Marketing in the Children Services Department at Hampshire County Council. Another student took up a placement as a Marketing and Promotion Officer on a publishing project.
We love to keep in contact with students and have recently spoke with Cathy Liu about her role as a Digital Marketing Executive. Having graduated from the Global Media Management Programme at Winchester School of Art in 2015, former student Cathy Liu secured a job role at 59 Global Ltd – an e-commerce company that hosts online stores on both eBay and Amazon. In describing her role, Cathy’s says, “I can harness the knowledge and analytical skills I learned from the Global Media Management Programme and use these to assist me in improving the company’s marketing campaign and help to build a new, vibrant website.”
Having started in the 2013, GMM already has an alumni of students extending across the globe from the UK, to Europe, South America, and China.
What makes WSA a good place to study?
WSA is a successful and vibrant art school providing a dynamic and creative environment to study global media. We pay particular attention to the cultural industries, to visual and screen media, and to creative practice and innovation. The campus is compact and busy, with plenty of opportunity to meet students from other programmes and to participate in a wide range of social and academic events.
The Winchester Art Gallery is based on campus so staff and students are able to engage with an exciting programme of exhibitions and events. The campus has its own student union that has hosted industry/careers activities such as Branding Day and the creative industries career season. There is also varied calendar of cultural events including Halloween, Chinese New Year, and BBQs in the summer.